A Wildcat of a Man

His grave in Sarcoxie, Missouri, is marked with only a simple stone, but there was nothing simple about Virgil Everett “Wildcat” Lynch.


Born in 1884, V.E. Lynch may well have been the last of the great American trappers, hunters and wilderness guides. Lynch came on the scene just when many of the old-time mountain men were passing on, but he carried on the great tradition of such characters as Jim Bridger, Jeremiah Johnston, Hugh Glass and Jim Colter.


Although he was born and died in Missouri, Lynch spent most of his adult life in the state of Maine where he became a legend, known for his great trapping and hunting skills. An unashamed self-promoter, Lynch understood that his fame could be spread not just around the campfires in the hunting camps, but through the written word. With only a third-grade education to his credit, he acquired a typewriter and began beating out the stories of his hunting and trapping adventures. These tales were eagerly accepted by outdoor hunting magazines of the time, and V. E. Lynch became a modern legend. Though it was done the opposite side of America, Lynch made his reputation in the woods and along the streams, much as Bridger, Johnston, Glass, and Colter had done.


​After long years of hunting and trapping in the cold winter snows of New England, Lynch’s health became to fail. In 1944 he returned to Missouri to be near his family at Sarcoxie and in spite of health problems he continued hunting and trapping in the Ozarks until his death in1953. Now, almost a half-century after his death, Lynch’s life and exploits are being remembered once again with the republication of his biography, They Called Him “Wildcat” and with the establishment of a handsome display in his honor at the public library at Sarcoxie, Missouri.

Sarcoxie Public Library 

 Email: librarydirector@sarcoxiemo.com 
508 Center Street Sarcoxie Mo 64862
P.O Box 130 Sarcoxie Mo 64862

               Library Hours            
Monday - Friday 9:00am - 6:00pm
Saturday 9:00am - 1:00pm
Closed Sunday

(Printed with Permission of Kay Hively)